Today is going to be tough.
I have a long-standing Wednesday tradition. During my mid-day prep period, I would close the door to my classroom to begin some grading and planning. As I did so, I would plug my computer into my classroom sound system and listen to The Sharpshooter Cast with Aaron and Thomas Briggs. I would work and laugh. It would bring an hour of joy to my Wednesdays.
It is amazing you don’t really know how much you enjoy something until it is taken from you. Listening to Tom and Aaron discuss Raw, wrestling news of the week or random parts of their life in San Diego was by far my favorite thing on the TJR website. I was a fan first and foremost.
I cannot in words properly express my thoughts to Aaron and the entire Briggs family. The loss of a man like your brother is one that is impossible for anyone to comprehend. I hope in the days to come we in the TJR community can express what your brother meant to all of us.
While I cannot properly express my thoughts on Thomas, I can express them on a thing many others and I truly loved, The Sharpshooter Cast. It was a product of pure joy that helped keep me a fan of the product over the past two years. So I wanted to share what I loved about the Sharpshooter Cast with the Briggs Brothers.
It was positive
Let us face it; the Internet is a negative place. Few places are guiltier of this pessimist attitude more then the Internet wrestling community. How many pointless conversations have been wasted complaining about angles or poor matches? I guess that is a point of fandom on some level but it can make you question why your love the product in the first place after a while. This was never the case with the Sharpshooter Cast.
When thinking back on past shows, I would marvel at how Tom and Aaron would always find the silver lining in every show. Their ratings for the Raw shows were constantly high and they made a point to add something they loved about each and every show. It keeps me in a positive place every time I view a Raw. Unless it was Adam Rose’s bunny, Aaron really hates that bunny. But even within the Bunny, Tom would point out how it was good for the young fans. If you can find the positive in the Bunny, then you can find it anywhere.
It was funny
There are many wrestling podcasts to choose from but few are funnier then the Sharpshooter Cast. Heather eloquently wrote about the wonderful Marty Jannetty jokes earlier this week but it was also the random conversations between Tom and Aaron that brought this listener much joy each Wednesday. I look back at some of the random and ridiculous topics that were discussed on the show. Some of my favorites are:
A three-episode discussion of Willy Wonka
Nut Powder and Belly Button Cleaners
Seth Rollins’ penis
Aaron’s weekly rant: excessive taunting.
CM Punk vs. the Green Ranger? Sign us up!
Slator Gator puts over the Bunny and PISSES Aaron off
We apologize for the late episode/Aaron’s cursing
Crazy kids ruin breakfast
Suffering through a pinched nerve
Aaron rants on Timeshares
And my personal favorite: The greatest debate of our time: Cats vs. Dogs
The show was never afraid to have random observations on life and I loved every minute of it.
It wasn’t just about the wrestling
I will be honest. At the end of the day, I didn’t really listen to the show for grand discussions of pay-per views or Raws. I listened to hear two brothers that truly loved each other and it showed on a weekly basis. My favorite moments of the show would be simply hearing about a trip, going hiking or when Tom shared news about their WrestleMania 31 plans. The ease and the natural nature that the show shared aspects of their personal lives in San Diego is what I remember. The joy that Tom and Aaron share for their lives and this product they love was what made all of us fans of the show.
As one of our past TJR writers Mitch Nickelson said earlier this week, “He didn’t know me but I felt like I lost a friend from listening to the Briggs brothers for an hour every week.” That is how I feel. They treated all their listener questions and guests on their show as part of the extended Briggs family and I thank both of you for it.
I wanted to end by sharing a personal story of my interaction with Tom. I got to know Tom best in this last month. Tom and Aaron were kind enough to discuss my work long before either of them even knew I was even listening last year. As a fan, I offered to review the NXT specials for the show. I was thrilled when Tom set up the chance you me to join the show just two weeks ago.
So I had my first true conversation with Tom. He was kind and generous with his time and was willing to fit into my schedule. He didn’t have to do so but never thought twice about it. Tom, the tech genius, walked me through Google Hangouts and we had our first conversation. It was positive and fun. Tom was a natural interviewer and showed a tremendous skill for listening. You would assume that Tom and I had been friends for years based on the respect and kindness he showed.
At the end of our conversation, Tom and I talked about WrestleMania 31. The joy that he shared about the entire weekend was something I will remember. Tom and Aaron were even kind enough to want to share part of their WrestleMania experience with my brother and I. This will be my first ever WrestleMania and the thing I was looking most forward to was meeting the two men who were responsible for my favorite podcast.
Thank you for the laughs and for spreading the true joy of professional wrestling. It has meant a lot to all your Sharpshooter fans.